Skip to main content

Reply to this post | See parent post | Go Back
View Post [edit]

Poster: HektorT Date: Apr 8, 2010 2:41pm
Forum: feature_films Subject: Re: Is this public domain?

Hi, for copyright, films:
- if published before 1964 had t be renewed after 28 years
- had to be registered with the copyright office if published before 1989
- had to be published with notice until 1978
- from 1978-1989 if published without notice then it had to be added within five years.

This film, was never registered so it should be PD as long as it is not based on a book or screen play that is copyrighted and wasn't copyrighted under a different name (check imdb)

I'll post a link to how to find out if something is copyright in a new thread now

This post was modified by HektorT on 2010-04-08 21:41:42

Reply to this post
Reply [edit]

Poster: gzd Date: Apr 8, 2010 3:10pm
Forum: feature_films Subject: Re: Is this public domain?

What is your source when you state "had to be registered with the copyright office if published before 1989"?
Registration isn't mandatory according to the "Copyright basics" circular put together by the US Copyright Office (
Here's a quote from page 6:

Works Originally Created and Published or Registered
before January 1, 1978
Under the law in effect before 1978, copyright was secured
either on the date a work was published with a copyright
notice or on the date of registration if the work was registered
in unpublished form. In either case, the copyright
endured for a first term of 28 years from the date it was

I think it just comes down to whether it has a copyright notice or not.

Reply to this post
Reply [edit]

Poster: HektorT Date: Apr 9, 2010 6:10am
Forum: feature_films Subject: Re: Is this public domain?


My primary source of information on copyright law is the book "The Public Domain", by Attorney Stephen Fishman, I also rely on information my own legal counsel has given me in the past.

Otherwise, if you look at the link I posted yesterday:

In the questionnaire on determining the PD status of a work you will find:

Was the work registered in the name of the true owner?

- No

+ Prior to 1978, accurate registration was required to secure a copyright after publication. Furthermore, filing was required to be prompt.
After 1978, timeliness was not required. From March 1989, registration is optional.

Also this page gives an excellent summary:

Additionally I've been consulting that online CCE for quite some time that you are using to post copyright information for the 1970s. I am more or less convinced that the search function not fully functional. Maybe it depends on which of their formats, text, image, or pdf you are searching. Because these are scanned images and if a character was not correctly reproduced you can't find the listing. So if a film is in there it is copyrighted, but if it's not, unless you want to look at every page, and every page is there (and they state that every page is not there), I am not confident enough to post results from that as a resource for others to rely on.

In any event the copyright law is quite complex and the law has changed many times. The link you post as a reference refers to the process of securing a copyright today. It is not a document suitable for determining the copyright law for works that were created pre-1978.

This post was modified by HektorT on 2010-04-09 13:10:41